The Paddle North Blue Ox with the MI Playground crew!

SUP on the Lower St. Mary's River, MI

Voyageur Island Park

Lower St. Mary’s River- Sault Ste. Marie, MI

A group of islands anchored by the newly developed Voyageur Island Park is located in the Lower St. Mary’s River in Sault Ste. Marie, MI. The “lower” portion means it is on the down-river side of the Soo Locks. This is a very unique place to paddle as you are sometimes sharing the water with 1,000 foot Great Lakes freighters. The river here is extremely clear and can sometimes even look like you are paddling in the Caribbean based on the colors, but it is not so with the water temperature. It stays quite cold for most of the year as the water flows down from Lake Superior. Most people launch from Rotary Park with endless destinations along the river. Just know that if you paddle down river, you most likely will need to get back with an up-river paddle that can sometimes be challenging with the current.

Plenty of room to stretch out on a beautiful day.

A new addition to the area is the recently completed Voyageur Island Park. This island is only accessible by paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes: boats are not allowed to dock on the island. It is a great spot to take a break and hang out and watch the ships or hike around the island. This July was also the first Soo Ultimate Paddle Day (SUP Day) which held SUP and Kayak races and biathlons on and around the islands.  

This spot is a special place for the mi playground crew as we grew up in Sault Ste. Marie and spend a lot of time in the summer on the water right at this spot. The views from the dock are some of the best around!

Lower St. Mary’s River- Sault Ste. Marie, MI

This review is brought to you by MI Playground (@mi_playground), a Brand Ambassador for Paddle North. 

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Have you paddled this river? Let us know your thoughts in the comments! Have your own lake or river to review? Send an email to peter@paddlenorth.com to get it featured on this site.

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